Bunnies junior ready to soar for Roosters

He’s the son of a South Sydney gun that is ready to fire for the Sydney Roosters.

Two years after being lured from Redfern, Nat Butcher took a major step towards NRL stardom after captaining the Roosters to a stunning under-20s title over raging favourites Penrith.

The son of former Rabbitohs player Blake Butcher scored the first try of a 22-point comeback before going on to claim the prestigious Jack Gibson Medal as best on ground on Sunday.

The 19-year-old back-rower humbly credited his teammates for an immense performance that included 222 running metres on 25 carries to go with 52 tackles.

“It’s a massive honour. I thought all the boys deserved it. To come back like that in the second half, it was a team effort,” Butcher said.

The Roosters view Butcher, who was handed his NRL debut in the final game of the year, as a long-term prospect at the club in the mould of the versatile Mitchell Aubusson.

Butcher was caught in the crossfire between the Roosters and Rabbitohs last month when the Bunnies reportedly made a decision they will kick their neighbours out of their junior league.

But it failed to deter Butcher from enjoying an outstanding season at the Roosters that included being voted by the players as the competition’s best at the RLPA awards.

He was also included in the Holden Cup team of the year and honoured with the Arthur Beetson Medal as the Roosters’ under-20s players of the year.

“It’s been a massive year, and I couldn’t have done it without both the NRL and NYC coaching staff at the Roosters,” he said.

“The effort they put in for me throughout the season was just amazing. It was above and beyond.”

A summer training with the NRL squad now beckons, as do more shots in first grade.

“I’d love to play more consistent NRL next year. I’ll start thinking about that come pre-season. I’ll just enjoy the off-season now, give the body a bit of a rest,” he said.

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